Origins: a reflective visit to the Forest of Bowland
It is not hard to see how the fast-paced, highly modern and industrialised world we live in tempts us to overlook a fundamental aspect about ourselves: our origins. Going back to our roots is refreshing, it offers one a sense of identity, of belonging. And how could one go back to his or her roots if not by relishing the cultural richness that the English Countryside comes with?
Lancashire is essentially a rural area, and when one is gifted with such an exquisite variety of waterways, moorlands and forests, they must embrace it.
Lancashire shelters the wild, natural Forest of Bowland, which is a product of thousands of years of human activity and an embodiment of how the countryside ennobles the human spirit.
I was welcomed by colours of green, sheep which accompany you in your journey through the forest if you are lucky enough, quaint towns surrounding the area and serene, picturesque reservoirs which provided the perfect scenery for a peaceful walk. The air smelled fresh and the moors, quiet witnesses of the spectacle of nature, recalled memories of ancient times, giving me a unique, unconstrained feeling of freedom.
It is when one arrives in the Moieciu commune  that the landscape becomes breath-taking. The Piatra Craiului Mountains arise, ruling over what seems to be a land forgotten by time: sheepfolds encircled by old, thin, wooden fences, hayfields and meadows reminding us that returning to tradition and simplicity brings us closer to who we are. The valley left behind scatters a few villages here and there, before being engulfed in trees, clouds and dreams, as one makes his way further to the castle.
Be it the Forest of Bowland or the serpentines leading to the Bran Castle, what I found is that nature and the countryside reminded me of home and of who I was every time. No matter where we are, the countryside is shelter for our thoughts, our traditions, our origins.
The serenity of these places can only be an incentive for us to discover ourselves while discovering the nature surrounding us. Let’s relish what Lancashire and the countryside in general have to offer and ponder over our origins. Wherever there is green, there is home.
About the author:
My name is Daria Mirea, I was born in Romania and I am a second year Management, Politics and International Relations student at Lancaster University, in love with nature, traditions and everything they have to offer. Lancashire has provided a rich and fulfilling natural environment that suits my personality and nurtured my educational needs, having an overwhelming impact on who I am as an individual.
 Downham Village